Long-term ramp closures along US 183 have begun


AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s already a narrow stretch of highway and starting this weekend, the drive will get a whole lot tighter on US 183 near Airport Boulevard. The US 183 southbound exit to Montopolis Drive will be closed as well as the entrance ramp to US 183 from the frontage road near Bolm Road.

Callahan’s General Store is situated right on US 183 and in the middle of all the construction. Owner Charley Wilson says he has seen southeast Austin change over the years but he’s excited about the major transformation of US 183. It will become an expressway with six lanes in each direction, half of which will be toll lanes.

“This is the sign of progress, there’s going to be some inconveniences,” says Wilson. “For the people who want to get through this area quickly from downtown or parts north over to the airport, the toll road that is being built here is going to be a real, real benefit.”

Drivers on southbound US 183 who wish to get to Montopolis Drive will exit at Bolm Road, follow detour signs to Levander Loop and then to Airport Boulevard. From there, they will make their way south to the Montopolis Truss Bridge and exit Montopolis Drive.

The ramp closure allows for construction of new ramps connecting Airport Boulevard, Cesar Chavez Street, Fifth and Seventh Streets to the US 183 bridge over the Colorado River. Once the ramps are operational the Montopolis Truss Bridge will be converted to a bike/pedestrian bridge.

“This is going to be a great place to do business,” explains Wilson. “We’re going to get a lift here soon and it’s going to benefit everybody in the neighborhood.”

The closure of the Montopolis Drive exit from southbound US 183 will be re-opened in late 2018. The project will open in phases between 2019 and 2020.

The 183 South Project is the largest highway project ever undertaken by a local government agency in Central Texas and is the largest highway project currently underway in Central Texas.

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